Bradenton Election: Brown, Satcher Vie For District 1 Seat

·8 min read

MANATEE COUNTY, FL — In the 2020 election, Manatee County voters will choose the winner of the Manatee Board of County Commissioners District 1 race. Democrat Dominique Shauntel Brown and Republican James A. Satcher are vying for the role.

How to vote

As the Nov. 3 election approaches, Manatee County voters can submit their ballots at early voting locations, at drop-off boxes and by mail. They can also vote at their local voting precinct on Election Day.

If voting in person, either early or on Nov. 3, voters must bring a current and valid ID with their name, photo and signature. Find a full list of acceptable IDs here.

Vote-by-mail ballots may be returned using the U.S. Postal Service. The return postage for a vote-by-mail ballot is two Forever stamps or 70 cents. They must be received by 7 p.m. Election Day. Additionally, they can be dropped off at any early voting location. Find a list of early voting locations here. The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot has passed.

If you choose to vote in person on Nov. 3, you can look up your voting precinct online here. For your vote to count, you must vote in the precinct in which you reside. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Meet the candidates

Bradenton Patch recently sent out questionnaires to learn more about who these candidates are and where they stand on local issues. Below are the responses submitted.

Dominique Shauntel Brown (Dominique Shauntel Brown)
Dominique Shauntel Brown (Dominique Shauntel Brown)

Democrat Dominique Shauntel Brown, 35, lives in Palmetto with her two sons. A local attorney, she owns two small businesses, The Dream Law Firm, PLLC and Dream, Succeed, Become LLC.

She searched in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years, including a combat tour in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in applied social/criminal justice from Florida A&M University.

She went on to earn her juris doctorate from North Carolina Central University. Brown is licensed to practice law in Florida (including the federal bar), North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.

Brown: Traffic and lack of infrastructure are the most pressing issues in our district and county. I plan to work with the other (commissioners) to come up with a feasible plan to ensure that we can begin to implement within the first six months of my being elected to the BOCC.

What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?

Brown: I'm from Manatee County. I'm a product of our local schools. I bring assertiveness, consistency, integrity and accountability to this position. My professional and educational experience makes me the most qualified candidate for the District 1 seat. As a homeowner I can relate to taxpayers within our district and the county.

I have a proven public service record (as a) USAF combat veteran (and) former prosecutor and public defender. In addition, I’m already a licensed attorney in FL, NC, D.C. and the Middle and Southern District of Florida. Being on the BOCC requires you to know how to budget efficiently and run a business. I own two successful small businesses in Manatee County.

Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.

Brown: I’m running for the District 1 seat because Manatee County is home for me, and I am focused on our future. Manatee County needs leaders who care more about uniting our communities and not tearing us down or pitting us against each other. When elected to the District 1 seat, I will zealously advocate for everyone, not just the few, and I will be a voice for the overlooked and voiceless. Representation matters – my platform is all inclusive – for all residents of District 1.

What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?

Brown: I have raised my right hand and have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States more times than I can count on both hands. The first time was at the age of 17. During my military career, I was trusted to have and maintain a top-secret security clearance as a part of my job. In order to maintain my security clearance, I had to be morally and financially responsible.

In order to become a licensed attorney, I had to pass a character and fitness exam for not one, or two, but three jurisdictions. That means that I was vetted for my integrity, honesty, and financial responsibility three times!

Why should voters trust you?

Brown: I would also offer more balance to the 6-1 Republican to Democrat ratio that currently exists and be one of a small minority of commissioners who did not get on the board after taking money from developers who’ve enjoyed a rubber stamp from it for more than a decade.

If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?

Brown: As the next county commissioner for District 1, I promise to maintain my integrity first and foremost, remember to serve the people before myself, and finally display excellence in everything I do as county commissioner.

What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the handling of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?

Brown: As a small business owner, I have to effectively manage my budgets and exercise financial responsibility. I cannot focus on one area of my budget, such as utilities, and ignore other areas like rent, marketing, salaries, etc. The next county commissioner for District 1 needs to be able to understand fiscal responsibility, how budgets work, how to balance a budget, and how to prioritize the needs of the departments and projects the county funds.

For example, I pay my mortgage every month on time so that my house doesn’t go into foreclosure and I pay my taxes every year so that I don’t get a tax lien. It would be irresponsible for me to think that I can pay more towards my light bill and give it a higher priority and tell the water company that my electricity is more important.

If I were to focus solely on one department or project, and neglect the other departments and projects, the budget will not be balanced.

Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?

No response from candidate.

What are your thoughts on the campaign to "defund" the police?

Brown: As a small business owner, I have to effectively manage my budgets and exercise financial responsibility. I cannot focus on one area of my budget, such as utilities, and ignore other areas like rent, marketing, salaries, etc. The next county commissioner for District 1 needs to be able to understand fiscal responsibility, how budgets work, how to balance a budget, and how to prioritize the needs of the departments and projects the county funds.

For example, I pay my mortgage every month on time so that my house doesn’t go into foreclosure and I pay my taxes every year so that I don’t get a tax lien. It would be irresponsible for me to think that I can pay more towards my light bill and give it a higher priority and tell the water company that my electricity is more important.

If I were to focus solely on one department or project, and neglect the other departments and projects, the budget will not be balanced.

What are your thoughts on the state and national response to the coronavirus pandemic? Do you favor such measures as limiting operation of non-essential businesses or restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a nationwide mask mandate?

No response from candidate.

Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?

Brown: No.

The best advice ever shared with me was:

Brown: Be kind to everyone you meet and be sure to uphold your values, "Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all you do.

What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?

Brown: This is the most important election that I can remember happening during my lifetime.

Your vote matters, especially on the local level because every vote counts.

You must research the candidates and decide who’s the most qualified candidate to hold the seat they’re running for. I am the most qualified candidate for the District 1 seat of Manatee County Board of Commissioners! Check my resume and track record and vote for me on or before November 3!

Learn more about Brown on her campaign website.

Republican James A. Satcher did not submit his questionnaire to Bradenton Patch. According to his campaign website, though, he’s a husband, father, minister and “true conservative.” He also works as a small business consultant and runs a nonprofit organization that provides food and housing to single mothers and the homeless, and also assists with disaster relief. He’s currently enrolled at Stetson Law earning his Juris Doctorate.

His campaign website states that his “background and experience give him the unique ability to bring conservative, faith-based values and unmatched passion to tackling the important issues that are shaping our community.” It also says that Satcher is “a pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, constitutional conservative who knocked doors to get out the vote for” Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

According to his website, he’s also pro-law enforcement and first responders and is dedicated to lowering taxes. If elected, he also vows to “fast track infrastructure improvements” as traffic worsens in Manatee County. Satcher said he would also like to create “a pro-business environment that does not play favorites.”

Learn more about Satcher on his campaign website.

This article originally appeared on the Bradenton Patch

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